Timelines and the Aeon

It finally arrived yesterday:  Aeon Timeline for Windows.  They mentioned in their email that they were sorry that it’d taken them longer than they’d imagined to write this version, but here it was, ready to go.  But it’s go time, and here it is.

So what have we got?  Let me see if my computer will let you see.

You always start out with a splash page asking ETstartyou what sort of timeline you need.  I’m not picky so I go with the standard BCE to AD, and I’m off.  What comes up is pretty standard, and you’ll notice that you tend to start near the beginning of your current year.  There are ways to get around that.  It has a little of the Scrivener feel, with the Inspector (even has the same name) set up on the right side of the screen, and a big “I” to toggle it on and off.

One of the things that’s extremely nice with the software is it’ll allow you to set up your own fantasy calendars.  This could work very well with my Transporting stories, which mostly take place on a world with a twenty-eight hour day, and a year that’s about three hundred and thirteen of those days long.  That’s my next thing that I’m going to spend time playing–

But for now, I wanted to see how it would look with an existing time line.  That was my play time yesterday.  And here’s what I found . . .

It looks a little like a standard timeline ETStart02when you start mucking about in the simple stuff.  Everything points to a time at the top, and if you look at the sliding bar at the bottom, you can sort of make out where things are located in time, so to speak.  At it’s simplest it’s kind of crazy looking, and if you’ve never worked with time lines a lot, it might not make sense.

The Inspector allows ETStart03you to open up a spot and change, or even add, information.  You can color code your events, you can add tags and then search for things in your timeline based upon those tags.  A nice feature is being able to see how long an event takes place; in this case, the scene lasts for forty-five minutes.  Aeon will set your event to the easiest thing to determine, so if you set an event to take a day and a half, it’ll tell you that event lasts for eighteen hours.  If you try to say it takes one and a half days, Aeon will adjust the time in the event to the nearest day,  I discovered this by trial and error; now you know.

But I need more detail, what can I do?  For that you have Arcs and Entities.  And they are so much fun.

Arcs allow you to segregate things based on ETStart04people and things.  Suddenly I’ve open things up a little, and now I have things that happen globally, and things that happen to individuals.  You can turn the arcs on and off as you like, so one can narrow information down even further.

Then you have Entities, and these can be anything–people, places, organizationsETStart05, whatever.  Straight up Entity Mode lets you see what happens to whom and where.  You can even decide if your entities were active participants in an event, or just an observer.  You’re now linking people to things, crime writers, and you know where things are happening and who was there.

And when I ETStart06turn it all on . . .

Right here you have the full monty, entities and personal histories if you so like.  It’s all scrollable and expandable, and tonight I’m going to see about drawing one timeline into another, because that’s how I roll.

It’s $40, but if you have the Scrivener winner’s code from last year (I did), it’s $24.  More fun, more craziness, more software for writing.

What more can a girl ask for?